NHSCA Education Resource Center E-Newsletter Archives
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Topic #1 Philosophy
Every professional in a position of leadership should have a
philosophy. As a teacher and coach you have formed certain beliefs,
concepts, and attitudes. This is your foundation for the road ahead.
Your personality will display your philosophy as you teach and coach.
Coaches with a good philosophy will have a greater chance of success.
If you teach life values through the vehicle of sport with a
philosophy, your students will be motivated to play under you. You will
be a role model for them. Your impact on your athletes will vary in
the short term, but showing them that you care about them, will give
them a long term connection. Several of your athletes will become
productive members of society and will credit you for their success.
Topic #2 Ethics
are principles of conduct governing a teacher or coach. They are
usually expressed through behavior, and easy to recognize. They convey a
person’s judgment, morals, and character. Chronic unethical behavior
will eventually get a coach in trouble, while very severe ethical
violations usually provoke an immediate reaction. Coaches should believe
in and display strong ethics every day.
Allow me to present several examples of unethical behavior and my remedies:
1. Consistently blaming officials for your team’s losses and poor play.
Learn the rules of your sport and do not question judgment calls.
During the course of a season bad calls even out for all teams, everyone
makes mistakes. Set the correct example for your players and fans by
being a good sport.
2.Starting your Son or Daughter over someone is who clearly a better player.
Always include your coaches in deciding who should start in every
situation. You should make the final decision if it cannot be
3.Constantly using profane and threatening behavior.
treat all your players as if they were your son or daughter. If you
become a more positive role model, you will experience more success
and fewer problems on and off the field.
4. Betting on the team to win, lose, or shave points!
smoking, alcohol and drugs are part of society and in some form might
infiltrate your team. You must not be a problem yourself. Get yourself
on the right path so you can truly lead. Then, you as a role model must
weed out any team problems and deal with them effectively.
5. Getting involved in an indecent relationship with a student or married parent of one of your players.
in your personal life can effect your professional life. Be focused on
making good decisions, and don’t flirt with the devil!
Topic #3 Introspection
results in better self-understanding. When you look inward for your
thoughts and feelings, you will more easily understand your personality
patterns. This should improve your effectiveness when you communicate.
Your , inadvertently, developing better people skills. You might also
have a better idea of how people will react to you.
introspection, you might use your conscience to tweak a negative thought
into a positive one. On the other hand, If you just speak without
much thought, mistakes are more likely to occur. A coach could be
perceived as : inaccurate , impatient, insensitive, indifferent,
arrogant, angry, sarcastic, or pompous! These are all negative responses
and adversely affect the coach/player relationship. Coaching
can be very stressful. When a person deals with stress effectively,
everything slows down. The result is better self-control.
If one has a
sense of humor, kids love it. A coach is more likeable, when he or she
is willing to have some fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously; after
all, their parents aren’t perfect either!
Topic #4 Transference
is the redirection of feelings and desires, unconsciously retained from
childhood toward another person. If one’s childhood is relatively
normal, the child develops feelings of: love, security, self- esteem,
and a sense of responsibility! This would indicate healthy development
and a strong foundation for adolescence and adulthood.
a child is unhappy, he or she will repress many bad experiences into
the unconscious mind. Naturally, a child loves their parents. When,
the basic needs are not being provided, the child develops coping skills
for self -preservation. Living with feelings of: fear, insecurity,
inferiority, and guilt at the beginning of life, does not paint a bright
an adult, one maintains the same feelings, but they are repressed in
the unconscious mind. A coach may or may not be aware of the dark side
of their personality? When these feelings surface, the coach responds
by getting angry. Anger is irrational; however, it gives a person more
power and less self- control. Rage follows, then blame and shame! This
ugly pattern is usually reinforced by people close to the coach and the
program, who rationalize his or her behavior, usually because they are
all feeding off of a winning program.
is needed and can be very effective. Overtime, a person can sense the
feelings coming on, and can pull back before they strike out! If a coach
needs help, they should seek it. After all, their health and happiness
are at stake. Certainly, the players would function better in a
more pleasant environment!
Topic #5 Over-Specialization
contemporary sports culture has taken specialization to a new level.
At what age and developmental stage should a youngster focus on only one
sport? Certainly some players might want and need year-round
participation in one sport. If he or she budgets their time and the
family approves, this could be a wise choice. It seems logical that
these decisions should be handled on an individual basis, rather than
the coach expecting, demanding, and pressuring the entire team to
participate year round. The coach might rationalize by thinking more is
better or everyone else is doing it. This is a short-sighted approach
to your program! Extra off-season participation should be voluntary.
Some players may decide it doesn’t appeal to them.
- Several athletes want to play more than one sport and haven’t chosen one over the other yet.
- Some other talented players may have many varied commitments they want to keep.
- Some athletes have jobs or family vacation plans that limit their availability.
- Perhaps sensitive financial problems are the reason!
works like a rubber band; it might stretch for awhile, but eventually
it snaps! It could result in player and parental resentment and early
player burn out in that specific program!
Topic #6 Disappointment
of the problems of children starting competitive activities early is
dealing with disappointment! Coaches and parents have a big
responsibility to nurture the youngsters along, so the early experiences
are lots of fun! They must handle losing with "kid gloves”! Don’t pile
on by reacting to a loss as some kind of tragedy!
who live vicariously through their children, could be difficult to deal
with! They might feel that their child is ordained for greatness, and a
loss or poor performance might set them off! This creates a difficult
situation for the youngster, the coach, and anyone within earshot of the
parent’s tirade! Realistic parents, on the other hand, have a much
better perspective, and can be a big help to their child, and the entire
The child is emotionally vulnerable at this stage, and needs help
dealing with disappointment! Disappointment can actually be very
beneficial in small doses; similar to a vaccine! It can help develop a
person’s emotional tolerance, so they can deal with life’s problems much
Coaches’ should approach disappointment as a teaching opportunity!
Relate the sport’s experience to real life setbacks! This approach
presents a more sensitive side of the coach and it creates a stronger
emotional bond between the child and the coach! If the parent and coach
are truly secure, they won’t focus too long on a loss!
Everyone would be better served to develop "sports amnesia " and move on!
Topic #8 Improvement
Coaches should focus on player improvement throughout the
season. Conduct an early season evaluation of your players, to help determine
what kind of season to expect. Include your assistant coaches in the process of
developing realistic goals. These expectations should be in harmony with the
actual talent level and experience of this current team. Now, you established a
‘set point’ for this year’s team. Coaches can begin observing and logging individual
and team improvement.
Coaching a sport requires very intense teaching. Improper technique is not usually self-
Various teaching methods should
be used, such as short precise lectures, demonstrations, drills, game situations,
video study, etc. Teaching must constantly be part of the process in order to
establish perpetual improvement.
When athletes master the techniques, their confidence
increases. When they play better in competition,
they feel better about themselves, the coaches, and the sport.
Too much competition, or too many very hard practices
without enough recovery time, can lead to more injuries, fatigue, and burnout!
Physiologically speaking, the body needs to repair itself. Sore and tired muscles negatively affect performance .Psychologically, recovery time is
important. It keeps your athletes mentally rested, and eager for the next
At the end of the season,
determine if the team and the individual players met or exceeded the coaches’
early season goals? Explain your findings to the team first, then privately
with the individual players. Describe their strengths and advise them what they
need to improve on in the off season. A
subtle and objective presentation to the players will be effective and
appreciated. It will give a player more clarity between his perceived ability
and progress, compared to the coaches’ evaluations of the player. Each player
can deal with reality now, and check their gut feelings as they reach this
motivational crossroad! A few might feel
that their sweat equity investment fell flat, and don’t have the desire to
continue in this sport. The vast majority will be eager and motivated for
another commitment next season! Almost all of this group will try to improve
their weaknesses in the off season in one form or another, so they can become
more successful in their chosen sport!